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Starting an Afterschool Program

 

Interested in starting an afterschool? Not sure where to begin? We’re here to help!

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Types of Programs

 

1. 21st Century Community Learning Center (21C) Programs
The 21C initiative is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programs. Funds are administered by the VT Agency of Education through a competitive grant process, with grants being available only to programs that serve communities with at least 40% free and reduced lunch.

*Note that 21C programs are exempted from the CDD licensure requirements but can apply if they choose.

2. Programs for Teens and Older Youth
Teen centers, youth centers, or other programs serving youth over the age of 12 outside the school day are also considered part of the afterschool field.

3. School-Based Extracurricular Activities and Single Focus Programs
Schools often run athletic teams, homework support programs, and other special-interest clubs that meet after school or during the summer. Additionally, any business or organization that offers a single-focus program for children or youth in the out-of-school time hours (e.g., pottery, drama, dance, music, etc.) would fall within this category as being exempt from licensure.

4. Licensed School-Age Care Afterschool Programs
The Vermont Child Development Division monitors and oversees all licensed school-age care (ages 5-12) programs in Vermont. All afterschool programs serving children ages 5-12, whether based in a school or community center, need to be licensed by CDD and are eligible for state subsidies. For more information about afterschool licensing regulations in Vermont, go to the Child Development Division website and review the information on becoming a child care provider.

5. Recreational Programs
Town and city parks and recreation departments may run sports leagues and other short-term special programs for children and youth that don’t need school-age care licensure.

 

Resources for New Programs

 

  • Beyond the Bell: A Toolkit for Creating Effective After-School Programs. We highly recommend this publication that provides tools and information in key areas of developing quality afterschool programs. Order online at http://www.beyondthebell.org/products/beyond-bell-toolkit.
  • The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (NCFY) has a Guide to Starting a Youth Program. This guide gathers together a wealth of online information about how to start and manage a nonprofit organization or project that serves youth and their families.
  • The Afterschool Alliance has many resources, tools, and tips for starting an afterschool program in your community. Visit their Start Up page to learn more.
  • Now in its third edition, Southwest Educational Development Library’s (SEDL) Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs provides a description of resources to support afterschool programs. Many of the entries will also apply to before-school, summer, and community learning center programs.

 

Funding for Programs in Vermont

 

  • All new and existing licensed afterschool programs are eligible to apply for the CDD Afterschool Care Grants which fund start-up, expansion, and quality improvement grants. These annual grants are usually due in March, and are administered by Vermont Afterschool.  http://www.vermontafterschool.org/resources/afterschool-care-grants/
  • The Children’s Trust Fund awards grants to Vermont 501(c) 3 nonprofits organizations, municipalities, or schools that provide primary prevention programs for children and their families. Applications are due in January. http://www.vtchildrenstrust.org/
  • Private, nonprofit, home- and center-based childcare/afterschool providers can apply for loans and technical assistance from the Vermont Community Loan Fund. http://www.investinvermont.org/borrowers/child-care
  • The Wallace Foundation’s cost calculator for afterschool programs can be very useful to determine “reasonable” costs for operating a program.
  • Many afterschool programs are eligible to receive reimbursements for suppers and snacks. Hunger Free Vermont is one of our key partners and an outstanding resource for understanding how you can get reimbursed for serving snacks and meals during the out-of-school time hours.
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